Masahiro Sakurai has poured cold water on the suggestion that a new game in his Smash Bros series is around the corner, admitting that work has yet to begin on the project and saying that gamers may have to wait "several years" before anything is released.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced a new Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS on stage at the firm's E3 press conference earlier this month, but in an interview with Famitsu magazine – translated by 1UP – Sakurai said he and Project Sora were still focused on their upcoming 3DS game, Kid Icarus Uprising, and that he feels Iwata's announcement was somewhat premature.
"We've got no plans whatsoever," he said. "We've got two new games out in the open when there's no extra time to work with them at all. It makes me cringe, and I'm not sure it's the smartest thing to make gamers wait for several years, but the early announcement was made chiefly in order to attract new team members."
In fact it seems that the announcement has made Sakurai nervous, and thrown into chaos his normal approach to development. "The hardest part about game development is the burden it places upon me," he explained. "With previous projects I had a game design document in place before forming a team, but with this I don't have time for that.
"I won't be able to look at every aspect of the game and balance out all the characters by myself this time. I'm trying to think about how this is going to work out, but probably I'll have to discuss it with my future development team. The future of this project really depends on the people I can get involved with it."
Iwata's E3 announcement certainly implied that development was at an early stage. "What Sakurai suggested was Smash Bros for both 3DS and Wii U, and to make it work on both platforms," he said. "I think I just promised you that Smash Bros will be developed for both systems and the software will work together in some fashion."
Nintendo's failure to show off any Wii U games – instead focusing on the controller itself during the press conference, and showing only proof-of-concept prototypes on the show floor – was a factor in the firm's share price dropping to a five-year low during E3 week.
That Iwata actually mentioned Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS during the conference was taken as a sign that development was at least underway – now it appears that, not only is work yet to begin, but the creator of the much-loved series is already worried about how it will turn out.